- Teachers are under increasing pressure and stress and the number of deaths in the industry has increased
- One of the worst-hit provinces, the Western Cape, has reported 19 deaths among school staff, with a total of almost 2% of all school staff have contracted the virus
- Calls for more psychological support for teachers who are struggling with the stress of working under the current conditions
Educators are under increased stress, particularly in the Western Cape as 19 school staff pass away due to Covid-19 according to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer's spokesperson Kerry Mauchline said that almost 2% (755) of all school staff have been infected with Covid-19.
“Many of those infected are already recovered and back at schools,” she said.
There have been no deaths reported among the pupils due to Covid-19. One of the teachers who succumbed to the virus, Gregory Klink, a Grade 7 teacher from Montevideo Primary School.
The acting principal, Craig Daniels, paid tribute to the teacher in a moving newsletter according to IOL.
“In the space of three days, Coronavirus became a reality at Montevideo Primary... Mr Klink went for his Covid-19 test on Tuesday, received a positive result on Thursday, and on Friday morning, sadly, passed away at home.
“Our educators are heartbroken, as I am sure many of our children are - past and present. Mr Klink was the grandfather that your child needed, he was the father that was missing from home, he was the mentor to our educators and he was the source of our spiritual guidance and motivation.”
The current working environment for teachers is creating a lot of stress for teaching staff.
“Our people are really not coping, because, on a weekly basis, we’re sharing news of one of our education sector workers that has passed on,” Hoffmann said. “The sector is reeling at the loss of these educators,” said founder of the Western Cape Teachers’ Forum Lee Hoffmann.
The teacher's forum has become a place where educators can vent and share their fears and concerns.
“Psychosocial support is really important. You’ve got PPE in place and social distancing, but we’ve not addressed the issue of wellness enough, for both teachers and learners,” he said.
In other news, Briefly.co.za, reported that the KwaZulu-Natal provincial Education Department has rejected the plan to allow Grade R students to return to school on Monday.
Briefly.co.za reported that Minister Angie Motshekga's plan has come under immense scrutiny with only Grades R, 6 and 11 allowed to return amid a spike in Covid-19 infections.
Enock Nzama, the provincial education department's head, told parents the province would not be allowing this plan to take place.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!